By Danessa Rivera | The Philippine Star


MANILA, Philippines — Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) plans to build  1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy projects in the next seven years in its bid for cleaner and more cost-competitive power supply in its franchise area.

Meralco’s newly appointed president and CEO Ray Espinosa said the company is “committed to developing large-scale renewable energy projects that can deliver competitive electricity for our customers, without any requirement for subsidy or support, while keeping environmental stewardship and sustainability as top priorities in our business.”

Through subsidiary Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), Meralco formed MGen Renewable Energy Inc. (MGreen) to serve as the platform for the strategic push to develop RE projects, primarily solar, wind and run-of-river hydro.

The new company aims to bring in additional supply to support the Philippines’ growth momentum and help ensure availability of green and cost-competitive power supply in the coming years.

“MGen, through MGreen, will continue working on the realization of our project opportunities, and will work in partnership with established developers to maximize our growth potential,” MGen president and chief executive officer Rogelio Singson said.

He said MGen is already working on several RE prospects, “recognizing the significant reduction in the development cost, particularly for large-scale solar and wind over the past years.”

“Notwithstanding the ongoing requirement for new reliable baseload generation to support the fast-growing Philippine economy, we believe that the time is right to focus on building our green energy capacity and we intend to be a key player in this expanding sector,” Singson said.

The development of RE projects is aligned with MGen’s growth aspirations, which are focused on advancing renewable energy prospects and utilization of high efficiency, low emission (HELE) technology for baseload power plants.

“We will continue to work with the energy industry, government and other stakeholders to serve the country’s energy needs while ever mindful of our greater responsibility to society and the planet,” Singson said.

Meanwhile, consumer group Murang Kuryente challenged Meralco to scrap all coal-fired power plants in the pipeline and develop only RE projects.

Coal is currently the biggest provider of fuel for power plants in the Philippines, accounting for more than a third of the installed capacity in the country, with more coal-fired power plants planned for constructio